Historically, Catholic schools were created to provide centres of education to develop literate, numerate, moral, confident, independent young children who could contribute and mould the future of our world, in line with the teachings of Christ. We work really hard to do just that.
At St Marys we have a mission, which hinges on the following statement:
'Recognising and celebrating, the presence of Christ in one another.'
Our comprehensive programme of religious education, coupled with the importance of Spiritual, moral, social and emotional development, progressively builds on children's understanding of their place in God's family.
We celebrate our Catholic faith whilst embracing the differing cultures within our school community. We work hard to instil values of kindness, self control, patience and trust.
We strive to ensure that all children achieve to the best of their ability because we recognise our God given talents and the need to share those with others and for the good of others.
St Mary of the Angels has many titles including Our Lady, Mother of God, Queen of Peace and Our Blessed Virgin. She is central to the Catholic faith as she is the mother of Jesus.
It is widely believed that Mary serves as the patron saint of all human beings, watching over them with motherly care, due to her role as mother of the world's saviour, Jesus Christ. Saint Mary is also the patron saint of groups that include mothers and travellers.
Her many feast days include:
- 1 January - Mary, Mother of God
- 11 February - Our Lady of Lourdes
- 13 May - Our Lady of Fatima
- 31 May - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- 15 August - the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- 22 August - Queenship of Mary
- 8 September - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- 8 December - Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- 12 December - Our Lady of Guadalupe
At St Mary of the Angels we often reflect on the many characteristics of Mary - her gentleness, her humility and her total selflessness. We feel privileged to have her as our namesake and aim to be more like her.
We have four House Saints, each represented by their own colour:
This image is copyright (Geoff Pick) and licensed for reuse.
St Mary of the Angels Church is situated on Whetstone Lane, very close to our school.
It is part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and serves the Catholic community of Aldridge and surrounding areas well.
The parish priest is Fr Craig Davies. He is ably assisted by Deacon Peter, another well known figure in this well established, welcoming parish.
Also see: St Mary of the Angels Church website
|Wednesday Eucharistic Service||9.15am|
|Saturday Vigil Mass||6.00pm|
At St.Mary of the Angels Catholic Primary School we are able to receive three Sacraments:
• The Sacrament of Reconciliation - Year 3
• First Holy Communion - Year 3
• Confirmation - Year 6
The children in Year 3 and Year 6 participate in a 'Mass of Commitment' at St. Mary of the Angels. This enables the children and their families to make a clear symbol of commitment and dedication to the sacramental programme.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is received by baptised Catholic children, usually during Lent.
All children, in Year 3, are included in the celebration of the sacrament and our inclusive ethos ensures that those children who are not Baptised Catholics, are able to participate as fully as possible, in supporting their classmates, during the programme.
By receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the children have a chance to say sorry to God for the things they have done that have hurt God, others and themselves.
This Sacrament takes place at church in the school day. Parents and families are welcome also.
The Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Children in Year 3 receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Preparation takes place during R.E lessons during the school day, and parents are kept well informed, via meetings and letters home. Children who are not baptised are also fully included in all aspects of this preparation.
The children receive their first Holy Communion during the summer term, at church during Sunday Mass; celebrated by Father Craig in the presence of the entire school and parish community. All Y3 are invited to partake in this special Mass and other school pupils form the choir. A Mass of Thanksgiving and a Communion Breakfast, with many photographs, cake, strawberries and other goodies, is something the children really look forward to, also.
The Sacrament of Confirmation
Children in Year 6 receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Here, they learn to grow in faith whilst considering the role of the disciple in today's world. They are encouraged to select and research a saint who has inspired them in some way. A sponsor is also chosen and has the role of supporting the child in their spiritual life. The Bishop confirms the children at a very moving celebration, led by Y6. Those who are not Baptised Catholics, are also invited to share in this special Mass and they also receive a blessing from the Bishop.
All classes at St. Mary of the Angels have a devotion to their own class saint.
At the start of the year, the children learn about their saint and remember them in their class prayers throughout the year.
Nursery - Our Lady
Reception - St Joseph
St. Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. According to the earliest Christian traditions, he was a carpenter or woodworker. The Gospel of Matthew calls him a 'righteous man' meaning he was an observant Jew who obeyed God's law.
Joseph was engaged to Mary, but when he discovered that she was pregnant with Jesus, he decided to call off the marriage - but 'quietly' since the penalty for adultery was death by stoning. However, the angel of the Lord told him in a dream that he should go ahead with the marriage because Mary's child was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
St Joseph's feast date is March 19th
Year 1 - St Francis Of Assisi
As a young man, Francis liked to have a good time. His father was rich. But once, when he was sick, Francis heard our Lord calling him to leave the world and follow Him. Francis began to visit the hospitals and to serve the sick. He used to say, "When one serves the poor, he serves Christ Himself."
Francis put on the clothes of a poor shepherd and began to preach to the people about peace with God, peace with one's neighbour, and peace with one's self. He looked on all people and things as his brothers and sisters because they were all created by the same God.
Francis took twelve young men to Rome with him, and the Pope gave him permission to start a new religious order, the Franciscans. He also helped St. Clare to start the order known as the Poor Clares.
Francis had a vision in which he saw Jesus hanging on the Cross. The marks of the five wounds of Jesus were left in his hands, his side, and his feet, which remained with him all his life.
When Francis became very ill, he prayed, "O Lord, I thank You for the pains which I suffer." He died October 4 1226
St Francis of Assisi's feast date is October 4th
Year 2 - St Bernadette
Bernadette's parents were very poor. They lived near Lourdes, in France. One day, in 1858, while Bernadette was gathering firewood, a beautiful Lady stood in a cave before her. She was dressed in blue and white, and there were roses at her feet. She smiled at Bernadette and asked her to say the rosary with her.
Bernadette saw the Lady eighteen times. Once the Lady said, "I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in heaven." Large crowds followed Bernadette to the grotto to say the rosary with her. They could not see the Lady.
The Lady asked Bernadette to scrape the earth. The miraculous spring of Lourdes started to flow. Many people have been cured from this water.
When Bernadette asked the Lady her name, the Lady looked up to heaven and said, "I am the Immaculate Conception." Her message was "Pray for sinners." She asked that a chapel be built near the grotto. Today this spot is a great shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Later, Bernadette became a nun. Her life was one of joy. She died, at the age of thirty-six
st Bernadette's feast day is April 16th
Year 3 - St Therese of Lisieux
St. Theresa, who was often called the Little Flower, was born in Normandy in France. She had four older sisters and her parents were Louis and Zelie Martin. Theresa was a very lively, lovable little girl and her father called her his 'little queen'.
Yet she could also be too sensitive and irritable. In the story she wrote of her life, she tells how the Infant Jesus helped her overcome this weakness.
Theresa wanted very much to enter the Carmelite convent where two of her sisters were already nuns. But since she was only fifteen, they did not let her.
Theresa felt sure that Jesus wanted her to spend her life loving him alone. She kept praying and asking the superior to let her join the convent. She even dared to ask Pope Leo XIII himself to grant her heart's desire and finally she was allowed to enter.
Although she was only fifteen, 'Obedience, prayer and sacrifice' were her duty. She had a thirst to suffer for love of God.
Theresa had the spiritual courage of a real heroine. "May Jesus make me a martyr of the heart or of the body-or better, both!" she wrote. And she meant it.
In winter she suffered from the bitter cold and dampness of her plain bedroom. There were other kinds of sufferings, too. Whenever she was made fun of or insulted, she would offer her pain to her beloved Jesus. She would hide her hurts under a smile. She told Jesus to do with her whatever was his will.
Sister Theresa tried hard to be humble. She called her great belief in God her 'little way' to holiness. She always had a burning desire to become a saint.
The Little Flower died on September 30, 1897.
"O Jesus, my love, my vocation, at last I have found it. My vocation is love!
St Theresa of Lisieux's feast date is October 1st
Year 4 - St Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony was born Fernando Martins in Lisbon, Portugal. He was born into a wealthy family and by the age of fifteen asked to be sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra. During his time in the Abbey, he learned theology and Latin.
Following his ordination to the priesthood, he was responsible for the abbey's hospitality. When Franciscan friars settled a small hermitage outside Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt, Fernando felt a longing to join them.
Fernando eventually received permission to leave the Abbey so he could join the new Franciscan Order. When he was admitted, he changed his name to Anthony.
Anthony then traveled to Morocco to spread God's truth, but became extremely sick and was returned to Portugal to recover.
As he recovered, Anthony spent his time praying and studying.
Anthony was a great preacher.
So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, most uneducated could understand his messages. It is for this reason he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.
Once, when St. Anthony of Padua attempted to preach the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he went out and preached his message to the fish. . When critics saw the fish begin to gather, they realized they should also listen to what Anthony had to say.
He was only 35-years-old when he died and was canonized less than one year afterward by Pope Gregory IX.
He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles."
St Anthony is venerated all over the world as the Patron Saint for lost articles, and is credited with many miracles involving lost people, lost things and even lost spiritual goods
St Anthony's feast date is 13th June
Year 5 - Joan of Arc
Joan was born in France in 1412. She helped her brothers on the farm and often went to a nearby chapel to pray to Jesus.
When she was seventeen, Joan heard the voice of God calling her to drive the enemies of France from the land. Going to the king, whose army had been defeated, she asked for a small army. The king, believing that God had sent her to save France, gave her a band of brave soldiers.
Joan had a great love for Jesus whom she often received in Holy Communion. She also had a devotion to the angels, especially St. Michael. Joan went before the soldiers carrying her banner with the words 'Jesus, Mary'. The soldiers became filled with courage and drove the British army into retreat. Charles VII was crowned king of France.
Later, Joan fell into the hands of the British and remained in chains for nine months. Then she was taken to the marketplace of Rouen and burned to death. With her eyes on a crucifix, she cried "Jesus, Jesus," through the flames.
Joan of Arc's feast date is May 30th
Year 6 - A Communion of Saints
Each class has a set of traditional prayers they will be learning throughout the year. The children will be saying them in class and are asked to practice these prayers at home. Each child has a prayer book with these prayers in. Below is a link to all the prayers learnt across the year groups.
Child Led Prayer Services
Children at St Mary of the Angels are encouraged to lead prayer. Each Wednesday children take part in a class prayer service that is often planned and by children.
The Mini Vinnies are formed from pupils in Years 3 - 6. Their role is to support the liturgy and prayer life in school.
Each liturgical season the Mini Vinnies monitor the prayer tables in all classes and provide feedback to the classes.
To support the prayer life of the school, the Mini Vinnies also help their class to learn the prayers they need to know off by heart.
At St Mary of the Angels, there is a culture of great generosity when it comes to raising money for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Throughout Advent children and staff take part in a reversed Advent calendar and collect items of food and toiletries for local food banks. We also donate Christmas presents to an inner city school in Birmingham.
At Christmas we raise money for local charities through the donations from Early Years and Key Stage One Nativity performances and Key Stage Two Carol services.
Like all schools in the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, we adopt the approach set out in the Jesuit pupil profile.
In the profile there are eight sets of words which have been paired together because of their complimentary relationship to one another.
Each half term, we focus on a pair of words and think about how we can grow more like Jesus in our daily lives
Pupils at St Mary of the Angels are growing to be . . .
Grateful for their own gifts, for the gift of other people, and for the blessings of each day; and generous with their gifts, becoming men and women for others.
Attentive to their experience and to their vocation; and discerning about the choices they make and the effects of those choices.
Compassionate towards others, near and far, especially the less fortunate; and loving by their just actions and forgiving words.
Faith-filled in their beliefs and hopeful for the future.
Eloquent and truthful in what they say of themselves, the relations between people, and the world.
Learned, finding God in all things; and wise in the ways they use their learning for the common good.
Curious about everything; and active in their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better.
Intentional in the way they live and use the resources of the earth, guided by conscience; and prophetic in the example they set to others
The Catholic Church has seven principles of social teaching that we share with our children through all that we do, through the curriculum, special events, charitable works, activity and through our ordinary actions in school.
Loving God, you made this beautiful world that we all share.
Help us to live simply,
and be thankful for all that you have given us
Help us to look after our earth,
So that everyone may enjoy it.
Help us to share with others,
so that everyone has what they need.
This year we have signed up, as a school, to take part in the CAFOD Live Simply Award.
The Live Simply award is an opportunity for Catholic communities - parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies - to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.
The Live Simply award is earned by communities and schools who can show how they have been living:
- in solidarity with people in poverty
- sustainably with creation.
During the course of the year, we will be taking part in a number of events, activities and projects to help us achieve the LiveSimply Award including supporting local charities, fundraising for CAFOD World Gifts, starting an Eco Stewards Group and celebrating events such as World Food Day.
Families, parents and carers can also take part in our LiveSimply Award by creating their own Family LiveSimply Pledge and sharing it at St Mary of the Angels Pledges
As the year progresses we will keep updating our Live Simply page with news and pictures of the exciting work we have been doing so make sure you visit this page again!
You can find out more about the LiveSimply Award at Live Simply for Schools
A Live Simply Advent and Christmas
This Advent and Christmas we are looking for different ways we can ‘Live Simply’ and help Care for Our Common Home.
One way we can live more simply is by looking at Christmas Card alternatives.
Did you know that if every child in a class of 30 wrote a card for all their classmates, there would be 870 cards written in just one class! For our school that could be more than 12,000 cards in total!
Nationally ONE BILLION CHRISTMAS CARDS are thrown in the bin each year – very often ending up in Landfill.
This year we are encouraging all members of our school community to – rather than sending individual Christmas Cards - look for a Christmas Card alternative. So each child will make a card for one child on behalf of the whole class.
Live Simply Family Pledges
As part of our LiveSimply work this year, we asked children and their families to create their own 'LiveSimply Family Pledge!'
Over 30 families took part and made their own Pledge!
Our Family Pledges included:
To walk to school every day rather than driving in the car.
To help save water and turn the tap off when not using it. To recycle and donate my old clothes
You can read all our pledges here: St Mary of the Angels Pledges
Living Sustainably and Living Simply - Eco Warriors
As part of our LiveSimply Award Action Plan we have Eco Warriors in each class.
The Eco Warriorsr promote the idea of living simply, for other and creation and with others and creation.
TheWarriors check that lights are switched off when the classroom is left empty, paper is put in the recycling bin, encourage the class not to leave litter on the playground, make bird feeders and plant bulbs in the garden – anything that helps promote the ethos and drive of the LiveSimply Award!
See below for an example of their work.